School ban issues detention threat for kids seen hugging

STUDENTS at a Gold Coast primary school are being warned against hugging a move some parents say is political correctness gone mad.

They say children at the William Duncan State School in Nerang are being punished with detention for hugging or touching their friends boys or girls, the Gold Coast Bulletin said.

Father of five, Ross Kouimanis, labelled the decision “an absolute joke”.  ”What on earth are we turning our kids into?” Mr Kouimanis said.

”Kids hug all the time. My high school daughter hugs her friends. It’s perfectly normal. ”It’s perfectly innnocent and I can’t understand it.

”It’s political correctness gone mad. Banning kids hugging? It’s ridiculous. ”What an absolute load of rubbish.”  Mr Kouimanis’s daughter Emily was given a warning for hugging her best friend.

”My best friend and I confronted the teacher and she said it was a new school rule and some kids have been sent to detention for hugging,” Emily said.

Mr Kouimas said the school should be more worried about educating children and said the ban sexualised an innocent gesture. ”They are making something so innocent seem dirty or wrong. It’s just normal. ”It’s what kids do, for Christ’s sake.

”Hugs not drugs is an international slogan to fight drug abuse where does that fit in with William Duncan’s new school policy?”

The Bulletin understands the policy was developed by the school’s Parents and Citizens Association and was reviewed each year, with most members approving measures for students to keep their hands, feet and objects to themselves.  A greater number of pupils had been hugging each other in the lead-up to the end of the year but there was no set policy for a detention or punishment if they broke the rule.

Education Queensland South Coast Regional director Glen Hoppner said there was no EQ policy banning hugging in schools.

”William Duncan State School has determined that unwanted or unnecessary physical contact, which in some circumstances can include hugging, is inappropriate playground behaviour,” Mr Hoppner said.  He said some students did not appreciate having their personal space compromised.  ”The school is mindful of protecting their right to not be touched in an unwanted or inappropriate way.”

Mr Hoppner said the school principal was “unaware” of students being given detention for hugging.

For more on this story and to vote on the hugging ban, visit the Gold Coast Bulletin.

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